Published:  12:17 AM, 08 December 2017

What does US recognition mean?

In a move condemned by most of the world, Donald Trump has announced the US recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. What does his controversial move mean for the key players?

The peace process
This has been effectively at death's door since former secretary of state John Kerry's peace mission ended in failure in 2014. But the international community - apart from the US - is united in saying recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is disastrous for any hopes of reviving meaningful talks.

The Palestinians
They see Trump's announcement as the end of their hopes and demands for East Jerusalem as a capital of a future independent Palestinian state.

The state of Israel
The Israeli government has been thrilled. Ever since it captured (and later annexed) East Jerusalem in the 1967 six-day war, Israel has claimed the city as its "eternal and undivided" capital, and have longed for international recognition.

The region
Trump's move will further destabilize an already volatile region. The powerful Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, said the US was "plunging the region and the world into a fire with no end in sight".

Most western European countries have been deeply alarmed by US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. But a key question is whether the EU will take action, such as robustly enforcing bans on imports from West Bank settlements and refusing to deal with Israeli businesses operating in occupied territory, setting itself on a clearly differentiated course from the US.

Christians in the Holy Land
Patriarch Theophilos III, the Greek Orthodox patriarchate, widely seen as the most senior Christian figure in Jerusalem, and a dozen other church leaders in the Holy Land, sent a letter to Trump on Wednesday warning of "irreparable harm". 

The city itself
In 2015, Palestinians made up 37% of the city's population of about 850,000. Many live in overcrowded homes and neighborhoods, unable to get permits to build or extend. Three-quarters live below the poverty line and 25% live in neighborhoods cut off from the rest of the city by the separation barrier.

-International Desk

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